11.08.2009

Technicolor Life

It is easy to become wrapped up in life. It is difficult to wrap one's mind around life. My mind bounces in pin-ball fashion between the complexities and simplicities of existence. Mystery is no stranger to me, so answers I expect not, or, if ever, rarely. This moment, some things glitter with epiphany-esque novelty and surety. They are certain, were certain a moment ago. Today they are foundational, tomorrow-- ethereal. That is fine; that is flux.

Example. It has ever been hard for me to decide if life is exceedingly simple, with everything being homogenous and rote, or if it is indeed composed of endless complexities. Finally, a picture came to mind that reconciled the two polar ideas. As mundane as this sounds, the picture was a chart. In the middle is the one, the good, God-- Alpha, Omega. God is beginning, end, all, the I Am. Then, branching out from the center in several directions are the themes of life. They are simple, because everything under the sun comes back to them. They are ancient and fresh. Love, Friendship, Family, Pride, Fear-- maybe. Themes, who am I to define them? Most are self-evident. And then from each of these themes a million, a billion, a trillion complexities sprout and become entangled with each other, forming knots, forming hybrids, forming, sprouting, shooting, twisting into infinity. They are the individuals, the quirks, the eras, the ambiguities, the details. And all go back to the themes, and all go back to the one, the good, God, being.

Here today, gone tomorrow. What I like about ideas like this that fall into my head is how they always seem to make life a shade clearer. Once they append to my worldview, I feel like I am just that much closer to getting it, to things clearing up, to enjoying the world as it is. It's like this little toy Mitch just gave himself. It's a little box that hooks up to his sound system that enhances the sound that comes out of the speakers. It makes sound come out like it was intended to be heard. It enriches the colors of all the notes that swirl out. Technicolor music notes, if you will.

That is what moments of clarity are like. They bring out the deeper shades of life. Brights brighten, depths deepen. Etc.

Grace and peace.


10.20.2009

Blood and Guts

It has been a long time since I've written a blog. At least six weeks, because it has been that long since I quit my job. The job I moved to Waco for. The job I hated 95% of the time: being a nanny for Family X.

You might have noticed that I never blogged about nannying. That is because I rarely had anything good to say about it. There were a few days here or there where I enjoyed my job. Where I thought, "Hey, I'm successfully running a household. How satisfying!" or "I love that I can cook whatever my heart desires for Family X because they buy all the ingredients I need!"

Those days were just too few and far between. Whatever you are doing, find joy in it. If it is ridiculously difficult to find joy in it, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place.

Whewwwwww..... A gust of wind.

I am glad that the Lord delivered me from that place. It is nice to be happy again. Even though what the future holds for me is uncertain, I feel good and feeling good stands in stark contrast to how I felt during my ten weeks of employment.

Currently, I temp in an office in town. It is nice. Everyone acts office-y. Even I do. I walk around with my shirt tucked in, and a coffee cup in my raised right hand. Even though I just count beans and especially despite the fact that I am paid peanuts, I really delight in going in and contributing something to whatever it is that they do. Being a part of a team is nice.

Funny rabbit story? Yes, I have one. Tonight my bunny Luna was laying down on the hearth by the fireplace. She likes that spot because it is nicely cool. Well I walked over there and layed down by her on the hearth and opened a magazine. She absolutely did not understand. She treated me like a total invader and started pushing me away with her nose and eating my magazine. She even nipped at my heel which is quite odd. I moved over in the opposite direction about half a foot, which satisfied her and she layed back down and permitted me to pet her.

8.25.2009

Schnitzel & Crap Cobbler (How My Summer After College Sorta Stunk)

Two things occurred today that I never expected. The first came as an involuntary praise to God during my morning commute. Suddenly I realized how thankful I am to Him that summer is over. He had delivered me from the longest, most exhausting and flavorless days of summer I had ever endured. Never have I not been reluctant for summer away. This year it changed. Being a nanny for four children during the summer in this small city was a greater challenge that I ever imagined. And today, it is over. Today was the first day of school.

The second thing is that I am stuck at work because my defunct blueberry & strawberry cobbler took an audacious amount of time to bake. Who'da thunk it?

In all fairness though, my weekends during the second half of the summer were super fun because Mitch and I filled them with weekend trips. Also, having to cook every day for this family has been a welcome task that I look forward to. Blehh! Life!



7.27.2009

virginia woolf

Thank you for introducing me to so many new people (characters), Virginia Woolf. Your genius lies in that now I know so many more people that I do and do not really know at all.

7.13.2009

Taking Care of Business

Feeling good. Two days a week I have "half" days where I only work from 1-6:30. Today is such. I love these days.

I received my first paycheck. It was a great feeling. Working full time rules! Eh. Not really, but my work is good and money is good and paying bills is good, too, which is what I've done so far today. I'm a bit skeptical of online bill pay through my bank. The only thing I've used it for in the past was my credit cards which are through my bank. Fool proof. Now we'll see if such and such water service in Utah receives my money. Fingers crossed.

Also tried to get my delivery of the Times to stop being scattered. Wish I had gotten on it sooner because they just credit your account if you report missing your paper. I thought it might be more difficult. Nope.

Also, excited about using Mint.com to help me better manage my money. Wahoo!

In the works: an article for Pop Culture & Faith about nihilism and independent films. I'm really enjoying rereading pieces of Dr. Wood's Placing Aesthetics for this piece. He is so brilliant.

7.06.2009

Adult Ed.


Today I read something surprising in Mortimer Adler's The Paideia Proposal: An Educational Manifesto. He states in it that real education happens after someone completes their education, when they are on their own, when their maturity is put to the test, when they make crucial life decisions.

This was surprising because we post-mod babies are raised to look backward into our childhoods for the most shaping moments in our lives. It is true that the stuff adults are made of is indeed concocted when we are young. There can be no denying that. I know my dad is still moved in his heart by "the way he was raised," despite how far he feels that he strayed from that.

But, maybe Adler is still right. When we're out of school, when all training wheels are off, when we pedal so far that we cannot look back and see our mothers standing behind us we have the chance to either bend and break under independence and responsiblity, or to stand stronger, and more resilient against their weight.


6.13.2009

God and the Pope

This morning I finished reading Orlando while standing on the third step in the pool. What a whirlwind of ideas and drama and description! I don't know how to review it, yet. I just know that I couldn't have read it at a better time in my life. Love.

Outside of this Starbucks, two men are sitting, shooting the breeze. They've provided me quite a bit of entertainment. For a while I couldn't see one of their faces because it was hidden past the other one's head. He was speaking, which I could only infer by the wildness in his hands as they gestured and made motions and acted things out. I watched them with a bit of fascination. He made a fist and acted like he was stuffing things into it. He demonstrated the length of his forearm. He made circles. He patted invisible heads. All the while I was imagining that he was God and was retelling the creation of the world and it made me laugh. Especially when he patted the heads. The other man has unruly white hair and is smoking. He has thick RayBan glasses. I'm pretending he was once a Pope. God is also wearing glasses, which I can see because he is sitting back in his chair now and they dialogue interchangably and flick their cigarrettes. I never figured him for a Cowboys' fan. He's wearing their hat.


6.11.2009

Under The Covers

It's been a skip-between-books summer so far. Quite unlike me. The problem was in my choice to read Ulysses by James Joyce first. Can I say, "Not compelling"? The rambling streets of Dublin dialect and the wandering thoughts ARE GREAT, seriously, but they don't exactly entice me to pick the book up in my every spare second. It isn't a difficult read. It's just a monster. 

So, I've been reading other things in the meantime . Before I jumped into Ulysses I reread Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince in anticipation of the movie's July release which makes me squeal every time I think about it. 

Then I happened upon a five dollar copy of Skinny Bitch at, yes, Books-A-Million, which upon completion had me completely convinced that to not be vegan was to be near evil, doomed to develop cancer, and cursed to lead a fat, fat, life. Buyers of this book beware! It is no glam diet and health book, it is vegan seduction! Thankfully, the emotions wore down to a nub, and I have settled on stocking my kitchen with vegan versions of all of my staples: milk, butter, chorizo (haha, only half kidding), sugar, oil and commited to buy as much organic produce as I can afford. I'm eating way more fruits and veggies, reading the labels of food before I buy them, and am almost completely eradicating meat from my diet (at least when I'm at home, which is often), and drinking so much more water. I do have a drink with my dinner almost every night, usually a red wine or Mexican beer, but I'm listening to my body a lot more when it says, "I'm thirsty! Parched, even! Give me a gulp of water!" It actually makes having a glass of wine much more enjoyable and longer lasting when I am alternating sips of water. Yum. It's not a complete lifestyle overhaul, but it is a change for the better. 

Also, I'm reading The Sacredness of Questioning Everything by David Dark. Dr. Naugle gave this to me as a graduation gift. It's even signed with a note to me by the author! So neat! Whenever I read a particularly cool passage I flip to the front where the note is and think: "Wow! He's heard of my "work"! He's so cool!" 

Here and there I read or reread pieces of Walden. The connection is simple. He was alone. I am alone. His life is beautiful. I want my life to be beautiful. If you have never read Walden, your life is not as rich as it could and should be.

Today I decided to crack open another one of my "Novel Summer" goals: Orlando, by Virginia Woolf. How have my eyes never before traced the lines of her witty prose? I am in love. Deeply, deeply in love.

Debateably worth mentioning: The New York Times and I have become friends, on the weekdays. 

Finally, much to the relief of my spirit, the BCP and one of the gospels and I have resumed our morning meetings. 

6.07.2009

Turning Points

Tonight my adventure ended right where my new one has begun, Waco. I took a trip last week to catch up with old friends in the Hill Country, both in Austin and in Burnet. Magnificent trip, really! Wading in Barton Springs! Paddling a boat in Lake Buchanan! Tonight I took a drive down Highway 29, and was reminded of how I once knew it so well, spotting the places I'd pull over to watch the stars and what was once a coffee shop that made me feel at ease. After I hit 35, the sunset in the West guided me back home.

I wrote a journal entry there that I have decided to share with you. Enjoy.

I'm in Burnet. My expectations were wrong and now I'm paying the price. I'm sad. I wanted to see what was the same and go to my favorite places as if all of my memories are still tucked within them rather than hidden in me. I should have braced myself for what's different, what's changed. But I didn't do that. So now I'm sad that Kiri's (a coffee shop) is gone. The man from the Knife store was out front as I walked up so happily with my books in one hand and he shook his head at me as I stuck out my bottom lip, the prospect of walking back into one my homes completely and utterly terminated. "For lease" was written in loopy cursive on the glass storefront. The man said it had been closed since January. Regretfully, now I am just caught in nostalgia about the hours spent there and the open mic nights that truly blessed me. 

The Riverwalk still makes me happy though. It is just as peaceful as I left it. Green grass, a breeze through the leaves of these huge, old trees, the sound of the fountains of water, and the golden glints of sunlight hitting the ripples of water in the creek. (Here's where I must have forgotten my treasured descriptive words!) Tonight a movie will be shown here and the town will fill the lawn with blankets, children, and popcorn.

It turns out that a lot of my girls didn't fare so well after I left. It was both disappointing and not surprising. 

I wonder if I have too quickly gotten tied down. Yet, I love what I'm tied down to, and it is my heart that is bound, the most voluntary thing, which means that I want to be tied to that which my heart clings. I just want to accomplish at least part of that for which I have the potential. It often seems like there aren't enough lifetimes for what I want to see, accomplish, do, and live.

People ask me "Why Waco?" But a year ago they asked "Why Michigan?" Three years ago it was "Why Burnet?" and four years ago "Why DBU?" but in every experience I've undergone remarkable growth, been happy with  my choices, and enjoyed my life. Everywhere, people have fascinated me and I've loved hearing their stories and getting involved in their lives and communities. I haven't ever felt geographically out of the will of God. He leads me ever to green pastures, not to glamourous ones.  

Today I sat down and chatted with two of the most important and charming people I met in my Burnet adventure. Alisha is now the age I was when I moved there. It isn't like I needed recognition but I asked her how she would like to move to a small town where she hardly knew anyone. She just laughed and shook her head and said she had been thinking about that, too. Now she can finally understand what I did and come close to thinking about how it felt, striking out on my own at 19. She asked me, "Were you scared?" 

I thought about it for a few moments, trying to put myself back in that place in my heart and mind. "No. Not really," I said. "I was a little nervous, but I was more scared of what would happen to me if I didn't go. I knew it was what God wanted, so I didn't want to go out side of that. Plus, how could I miss such a great adventure?"

As it was then, may it now be.

6.02.2009

The New York Times

This video is from last night.

video

This morning I began a relationship with The New York Times that I truly wish will be a long and happy one. Since my adventure in Waco does not include having a T.V. (or a microwave lol) and since the newspaper industry seems down for the count, I became a weekday subscriber (for 50% off the regular price!). 

This morning my first paper arrived at my doorstep. How freakin' convenient!!! 

One of the cover stories caught my attention immediately. It's entitled "Tough Challenges Face a Reshaper of Schools" and is about how Arne Duncan, the chief executive of Chicago public schools and Obama's education secretary gave over 12 schools a makeover by firing all of its faculty and staff, completely restaffing it and constructing new accountability programs that include every student,  many parents, and everyone on staff there, including the cooks. All of these schools were failing. Now he wants to do the same with thousands of schools nationwide who are equally REJECTS. 

Is this an effective  method to improve public education? Do we have talented teachers and administrators  just out there available to staff these re-try's? I'm not sure about all this, yet. BUT, one thing I'm glad of is that the decrepit American public school system is getting a ton of attention, and also 6 billion dollars in bailout money. Thank you, President Obama.

6.01.2009

Decisions


Many things are common sense. Many common sensical things are oft forgotten. 

For instance, decisions. It seems like common sense that we cannot decide our futures in just one day. Yet, if this is so matter of fact, why do we feel the weight of the future in every decision so often during this time, our 20's? I do not forget that I am the sort of personality that feels anxiety about these things, especially prematurely. Some people are more successful at being chill. All I can say is that I'm trying to take things one moment at a time, to do an adequate amount of planning and preparing, and a moderate amount of kicking back and basking in the now.

We don't decide the rest of our lives in one day. Instead, it is everyday that we make decisions that shape the rest of our lives. Little by little, moment by moment, we carve out our place in the present and those little channels we dig lead us to the opportunities of tomorrow. 

Today is for eating healthy food and reading good books. Tomorrow I will pick up where I left off. The next day is determined by the day before. 

Many movies and books feature versions of this theme. Butterfly Effect, and that one with Nicholas Cage. But, oddly enough, the one that I think is on the right track is actually Click, because it was once the remote figured outt what Adam Sandler's character would do in certain situations, it just kept making those small decisions for him. It was the summation of those minute decisions that delivered unto him the most undesirable life. Something to keep in mind.

5.31.2009

Wacoan


Every day the sun is a little closer and I try to put off outdoor activites until sunset. My new home is starting to come together. It's only been two days, but I already love living alone. My heart swells every time I'm in a room and think, "This. This is mine. This little kitchen is mine. This little patio is mine." I am both alone and very happy.

Having roommates for four years was an irreplaceable experience that was each day both a blessing and a catalyst for growth. Coming home to my sisters (over 10 of them altogether) was so fun, whether I just joined them on the couch for a little Bravo time or if I came in just in time to get slammed with a heart to heart. Though we incessantly poked fun at each other, we truly created a remarkable sisterhood within the walls of 1204 and it those times have indelibly shaped me and will linger in my memories forever.  

I've done this before. Moved. Started over. Embraced a new community. Reached out to new friends. All of these experiences are recorded in my public blogs and private diaires, for which I am grateful. In each move one can read both apprehension and excitement, lonliness and exhilaration, and above all, hope. My wish for my time in Waco is that my hope perseveres, that my day love is deepened, that my faith is strengthened, and that I remember that each of these are gifts from God. They are not of me. 

But for the grace of God, nothing. But for the grace of God, nothing. 

5.20.2009

A Few Scenes From Nacogdoches





Advanced Thinking

I graduated.

I graduated from college and I feel good. The last few days have been spent nestled in east Texas. I'm trying to relax, catch up on movies I never got around to seeing, embark on my "novel" summer, recharge my soul. It usually works. This place is good for a body. The red dirt is good. The proud, straight trees are good. At night the stars pour through deep navy sky. I'm praying to see one fall before my eyes. That is how I know I'm okay.

Time is well spent here, though it lulls between the hours. My aunt taught me how to knit and I have some sort of green creation waiting for me on gold colored knitting needles when I have a minute or two. There are some mistakes in it, but it's amusing to stretch out what I've completed and see it taking shape. Up around down. Up around down. Down around up. Down around up.

5.07.2009

last day of undergrad starts in less than 3 hours

Tonight I feel like a robot. Tomorrow I shall feel like a freed woman.

4.20.2009

the one millionth occurence of saying the same thing at the same time

Sara: yeah! last night (in my dream) I weighed 138 lb.s!!!

James: no!

Sara: yeah!!

James: are you sure it wasn't missing a decimal
13.8 pounds

Sara: lol

James: or maybe it was 138 pounds on the moon

Sara: or dream pounds

James: the gravity's different, you know

Sara: which mean love

James: 138 pounds of love

Sara: 138 pounds of love

James: haha

Sara: hax
we're ridiculous

4.19.2009

A Novel Summer



LESS THAN A MONTH TILL GRADUATION!

Oh, hooray! I have finished a majority of my course work. All that remains to be done: 

1) Finish my thesis :)
2) An interview with a 'nam war vet
3) 3 trips to Mission Arlington and 3 corresponding reports (1 pg.) of philosophic conversations there (bleh!!!)
4) 1 Spanish test and 1 pg. letter using the subjunctive
5) Send out graduation announcements
6) FINALS

SO I'VE BEGUN TO DREAM ABOUT THIS SUMMER

I shall read only novels until the end of August! I hope you, my friends, will send me a couple of suggestions. Here are a few things I know I want to read.

1) The Silmarillion 
2) Dante's Inferno
3) A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
4) The Little Prince (again)
5) The Chronicles of Narnia (I think I've only read 3)
6) Harry Potter 6 and 7 (again) 

I will have to be thinking about what other titles to add to the list. Okay, I better get back to work. I'm at Starbucks in West Village. 

4.04.2009

Come home, Alyssa!

What a lovely afternoon it is! Today I find myself between job interviews, stationed at Crooked Tree Coffeehouse, writing a comparison of the Republic and Utopia in my thesis. 

I made this short video for Alyssa the other day, and thought I should post it for her enjoyment.

video

My thesis is going well, I hope to wrap up this section today or tomorrow. I need to make some headway on a Love Poetry paper today and tomorrow, too.  

While we're waiting for the video to load I will share something that I've been reflecting on lately that has brought me some joy. In one of my classes it is easy to become discouraged about the future of man. It shows me how dangerously connected to technology and how it handicaps us mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally. It tells me that man is only concerned about efficiency, power, and money. It is easy to dispair when considering these things. Yet, my spirits are renewed tremendously when I see things like Spring Sing or my colleagues taking picnics, eating pancakes, and discussing poetry. Watching peers dance and sing reminds me that we still have some sort of spirit, some connection with folk song and story, some spark of creativity. For these I give all praise and honor to the Lord who puts dance into our step and song into our heart.

3.27.2009

A Passing Thought

I found a lovely poem today by Walt Whitman in Leaves of Grass that I would appreciate being read whenever I pass out of this life.

The Last Invocation

At the last, tenderly,
From the walls of the powerful fortress'd house,
From the clasp of the knitted locks, from the keep of the well-closed doors,
Let me be wafted.

Let me glide noiselessly forth;
With the key of softness unlock the locks-- with a whisper,
Set ope the doors O soul.

Tenderly-- be not impatient,
(Strong is your hold O mortal flesh,
Strong is your hold O love.)


3.20.2009

Five Pictures From New York











lovely, lovely days ahead


Oh, job fair! I went to one yesterday and it was the PITS. Maybe something good will come of it. I know I need a job lined up for when I graduate in less than two months. I know the Lord has something for me. What I do not know is what it will be and what I will need to do to receive it.

Is it too dreamy to ask for a simple job that will work for me and what I want to do? I want a 9-5 that will facilate my higher goals for the next 1-2 years. I want this time to be an intense time of educating myself, throughout which I will stick to an intense, extensive reading list. If at all possible, I would like to have a job that will further my understanding of schools and the education system, i.e. teaching. But that is not my biggest goal right now. 

While at  university, I've learned so much and so very little. I've been introduced to many big names, big ideas, big questions.  That is all a bachelor's degree is for, especially in the humanities: introductions. Now in a crowded room I could tell Kant from Hume. We've met. But still I do not know their hearts. I do not know their depths. 

So before grad school, before career, before marraige and babies there is only right now, there is only my pursuit of God, pursuit of wisdom, enjoyment of my love, my life, and the clouds I sleep upon at night. Sprinkle my sidewalks with petals. I am in no hurry to be impressive. All I want to do is love and learn. 

3.12.2009

Twenty Two

LaGuardia Airport, Thursday, 1 pm ET

I've never written a blog in an airport before. Hooray! 

Tomorrow is my 22nd birthday. I don't really have any plans. I think it would be nice to spend some time reading outside. On Saturday my roommates and I might do something and then on Sunday I'll go home to Cleburne for some birthday action, too. 

Anyway. So. Have I grown in the last year? Yes. I have. In some ways I've proved myself, in some I've failed. I think my soul has grown some. In the last year:

@ I've thrown dinner parties and learned how to be a more gracious hostess, especially by oberving some of my favorite hostesses, K. Ruse and D.Kappellman. 

@I picked up a new hobby, yoga, and went on a new adventure, Michigan.

@I learned how to speak a little more clearly to one of my heroes, Dr. Naugle.

@I allowed myself to be vulnerable and tell my story to a table full of friends and colleagues. 

@I saw the last of my tuition at DBU be paid off.

@I came up with an original idea, or two. Yes!!!

@I grew super irritable and saw how irrational I can be. Meh. 

@I suffered a tragic loss when my peace lilly died, and got over it. :)

There are many things I could list. Still, there are many more intangible things that I couldn't-- and those are the most important. Those moments that are so awesome that the awe seems to come from a mysterious, veiled place-- those are the best, and although I cannot write them all down or even know them all anymore, I know they happened. I know, somehow, I've grown. 22.



(Ooh, something cool Mitch and I saw yesterday in Times Square is that the 2009 ball is still there. I didn't know that the ball stays in place all year. Cool!)


3.10.2009

Starbucks, Astor Place, Tuesay

I would like to write a new post, but I think we are about to leave this Starbucks and go to China town. ALL IS going very well. Last night we had a blast splitting a pizza and some beers at Roberta's in Brooklyn. We let our imaginations paint fantastical dreams we typically do not voice. I am still on celebrity watch. No sightings yet, unless you count being at the Today show this morning. Meh. 

I think some very important car is about to go by. NO! omg a parade!!!!!!!! WHAT!??!

WOW. I just saw a parade of thousands of tibetans protesting China's involvement in their country and the genocide there. Pictures to come.

3.02.2009

Update

Quick update on my status.

Once again I would like to say that this blog has always been quite personal, meant for the enjoyment of myself and my friends and I do not claim to be an authority on anything, other than myself. Let us look at the evolution of the word "blog." What does it  come from? Web log, of course. We all know that. Now, where does "log" come from? I do not know. BUT (see, I told you I am no expert) I do know that people, especially men, have kept logs of their activity for a very long time. Seamen used to do it. Maybe they still do. Anyway, since my first xanga (or was it livejournal? no. xanga) the intent has always been to record what is going on in life, for my own personal record, and to share these events and ideas with my friends. I just do not want to be grouped with my peers who have blogs so that they can have some sort of e-authority. Not me. 

Anyway, I am just taking a short mental break from working on my thesis. This morning I completed the introduction. I am about to draft the next section, a brief introduction to the history of Utopic writing. 

Oh, and I am in Waco right now, at Common Grounds,

Also, the Paideaia Conference has come and gone and it was completely wonderful. Plus, Mitch and I caught a show with the Ruse's in Austin. We saw Conspirare perform Rachmaninoff's Vespers. Perfection.

- June.

2.12.2009

Ding!

Oh man, am I baby crazy right now or what? Goodness, me! What a friend to have in a tiny hand, tiny heart! What breath of metaphysical newness and dew! Congratulations to the Ashbrook's and welcome to the world, Lara Elisabeth! 

2.05.2009

Bringing Forth


My soul becomes three things in the evening when I am on my own:

melancholy, melodic, and, irritable. 

In other news, what's going on with Obama lately? For some reason I cannot get hooked on his CNN coverage now that he's in office. It must be because there are just so many things that he is signing that I am not even attempting to keep up. I wish there was a twitter account with his updates in very basic terms and no links. 

I had a great time chatting with Monica Hopkins tonight. 

You know, I'm not sure how I feel about censorship. I really am not. Kyle Worley is presenting a paper on Platonic censorship at the Paideia Conference, so I think I will go to that and hear his argument. On the one hand, there should always be freedom to write and read the truth or poetry or whatever, but also we need to be wary of the power that literature and the arts have over the soul and mind. How are public schools to judge what ideas they are to keep away from their students? What implicit power do they have to take autonomy away from students and teachers? 

What's got me thinking is word that CISD is debating banning Pillars of the Earth from the G/T, honors, AP reading list. I'll be attending the school board meeting on Monday evening in support of the book and the teacher who has been assigning it for years.  

1.29.2009

Brandeis

Where will all the art go
and artists too?
When beauty is sold like
lima beans, like paper clips
When art is exchanged
for another month
afloat.

1.23.2009

6 Credits


Today I found out that in order to graduate I need to add six more hours to my course load. 21 hours in one semester, including my thesis. I am determined to graduate in May. 

Tonight surrounded me with my Dallas family of friends. Going to Crooked Tree Coffee Shop is often like going home, if home were a grab-bag of family in which you never knew who you were going to see, except that you would certainly see someone and they would certainly be familiar. Tonight I saw some of the dearest of friends and it made me so happy. 

The light still shines. 

1.21.2009

A Moment in the Head of a Graduating Senior


I had about 12 dollars a minute ago. Since then I have purchased the new Bon Iver EP-- Blood Bank. In about 45 minutes I will drive to Starbucks and get a drink. Using my money wisely.

This beautiful track just started playing, "Babys". I bet this is one Mitch is in love with. It makes me want to weep and watch sun beams stream in through dusty window blinds. 

Music is important. Words are important. Beauty matters. The good is real. God is real.

The mailman brought me seven books today. I start an intense reading schedule tomorrow. 

I have three academic engagements to look forward to this semester.
 One) I will give a paper at the Paideia Conference. 
 Two) I will speak on a panel of Faculty, Staff, & Students at this semester's Friday Symposium panel discussion entitled, "...until Divorce do us part."
 Three) I will give that same paper to Doc Rose's DCM class in April.

The Lord gives and takes away. The Lord blesses and damns. 
He Blesses Me. He has given me eternity. 

Okay, "Woods" is the current track and it is blowing me away. Maybe this was the one, Mitch? You know what sounds like heaven right now? Laying down on the red rug in Mitch's room with my head on his chest, listening to this album play on the record player and examining our fingers in the light of the dying sunset.

1.13.2009

BLTCP + OT


I made this dish this evening.  It is called BLTCP (bacon lettuce tomato cheesey pasta). The recipe is from allrecipes.com. Mitch said he liked it, as did I. I had to "cook" lettuce for it, something I had never done before. Using romaine and kale, I cooked the lettuce in the pot with olive oil. Smelled weird for a bit, but was quite good once it was done.

My apartment feels weird right now. Everyone is at a strange place in their lives, I think, or at least we are at strange places as an apartment. 

I wonder if I could knock out the rest of the work for my Old Testament class in the next two days. I would like to try so that I can devote the whole weekend to my thesis. I'm ready to be done with this class, especially since over it hangs the death of our dear professor, Dr. Nkhoma. 

1.12.2009

Soup Kitchen


Right now, I am in the kitchen making Zuppa Toscana and crescent rolls. No better time to write a blogpost, right?

I really enjoy taking a break from work and reading to be in the kitchen. I want to learn how to cook good food. Nicole makes this soup really well. Hopefully mine will turn out pretty tasty, as well. 

So I'm a week away from the first day of my last semester at DBU. I'm excited to dive into my classes. I guess this is my last chance to prove my abilities and diligence during undergrad. 

My thesis is taking shape as a thought-baby right now. I've picked my topic, ordered some relevant books, and started the reading. My goal is to work on it every day. I will be writing about the philosophies of education found in Utopias. I'm really excited about this; I've been interested in reading more about this for over a year.

Soup's almost ready!

1.11.2009

Every Day.

I want every day that I'm in Dallas to be as good as today. And they can be. Wake up. Breathe. Do good things. Love people. Think. Ask questions. Work hard. Relax. Solve puzzles. Make decisions. Decline offers. Wait for tea to steep. Laugh some. Think about colors. Enjoy silence. Listen to good music. Think about the past. Be in the present. Think about the future. Put my clothes away. Be aware of deadlines. Talk slowly and deliberately. Go to sleep. Dream in moderation.
The beauty of the Lord is apparent everywhere. This is a picture of my sister dancing in our backyard.